Old Haunts, New Memories

NIGHT LIKE FOR COUPLES

“Praise the Lord…who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103:2, 5

Shirley and I celebrated our wedding anniversary a few years ago by exploring what we called our “old haunts.” We took an entire day together, beginning with a visit to the Farmer’s Market, where we had strolled as young lovers. Then we had a leisurely lunch at a favorite restaurant and talked of things long ago. Afterwards we saw a theater performance at the Pasadena Playhouse, where we had gone on our second date, and later we had cherry pie and coffee at Gwinn’s Restaurant, a favorite hangout for dating couples. We talked about our warm memories and relived the excitement of earlier days. It was a wonderful reprise.

If your marriage feels stagnant, maybe it’s time to experience again the wonderful places and events from your courtship or newlywed days. Re‐create your first date. Walk the same stretch of beach or mountain trail you used to enjoy. Return to the place you got engaged. Visit the church or chapel where you were married. Drive by the house or apartment where you first lived. Sing the old songs. Tell the old stories.

I think you’ll find that the old thrill is still there waiting for you.

Just between us…

  • What were our favorite places to go, or things to do, during our courtship?
  • Which of our dates or outings would you most like to re‐create?
  • How can we make sure we have experiences now that we’ll look back on with fondness?

Lord, thank You so much for the good old days of courtship. Help us to make many new ones in the days ahead. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

Afternoon Hike

NIGHT LIKE FOR PARENTS

He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. Psalm 23:2–3

I (SMD) know of a grandmother who set out on a hike with her almost-two-year-old granddaughter, Carter. She figured that by keeping a steady pace, they could walk the mile to a meadow and back to Carter’s house by the end of the afternoon.

Carter, however, had other ideas. Not long after the hike began, she stopped to examine two sticks on the trail. A few minutes later, she stopped to pick some flowers. Farther down the trail, she halted again to rest on a rock. And the grandmother began to remember that the rhythm of life for a little child is very different than the determined pace set by sophisticated adults.

Because of Carter’s frequent stops, grandmother and granddaughter walked no more than a half mile that afternoon. But by the end of the hike, that was just fine with this grandmother. With Carter’s help, she’d collected sticks, flowers, pebbles, and a dead butterfly. She’d also been reminded that life for a child—and perhaps for grown-ups, too—isn’t so much about completion as it is about the process of getting there. When we slow our pace enough to take in the “green pastures” and “quiet waters” along the way, we’ll find God right beside us, restoring our souls—just as He promised.

Before you say good night…

When was the last time you took a family walk?

When did you last point out any of God’s handiwork to your kids?

Is it time to slow down the pace of your lives?

Please, Lord, set the pace for our family. Help us to see again through the eyes of a child. Take upon Your shoulders the worries and strains that squeeze delight and joy from our lives. And please remind us to let our kids be kids. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Parents, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

Illustration adapted from “A Walk with a Child” by Faith Andrews Bedford, Country Living, May 1998.

TRUTH FOR LIFE

TRUTHThe Preciousness of Jesus

Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a cornerstone chosen and precious.

1 Peter 2:6

As all the rivers run into the sea, so all delights center in the Lord Jesus. The glances of His eyes outshine the sun: the beauties of His face are fairer than the choicest flowers; no fragrance is like the breath of His mouth. Gems of the mine and pearls from the sea are worthless things when measured by His preciousness.

Peter tells us that Jesus is precious, but he did not and could not tell us how precious, nor could any of us compute the value of God’s unspeakable gift. Words cannot convey the preciousness of the Lord Jesus to His people, nor fully tell how essential He is to their satisfaction and happiness.

Believer, have you not found in the occasion of plenty a sore famine if your Lord has been absent? The sun was shining, but Christ had hidden Himself, and all the world was dark to you; or it was night, and since the bright and morning star was gone, no other star could yield you so much as a ray of light. What a howling wilderness is this world without our Lord! If once He hides Himself from us, withered are the flowers of our garden; our pleasant fruits decay; the birds suspend their songs, and a tempest overturns our hopes. All earth’s candles cannot make daylight if the Sun of Righteousness be eclipsed. He is the soul of our soul, the light of our light, the life of our life.

Dear reader, what would you do in the world without Him when you wake up and look ahead to the day’s battle? What would you do at night when you come home jaded and weary if there were no door of fellowship between you and Christ? Blessed be His name, He will not leave us to face the struggle without Him, for Jesus never forsakes His own. Yet, let the thought of what life would be without Him enhance His preciousness.

Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Copyright © 2003, Good News Publishers and used by Truth For Life with written permission.
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One-Year Bible Reading Plan

Today’s Reading

Exodus 12:22-51

Luke 15

Job 30

1 Corinthians 16

 

From Alistair Begg

Today’s Program

Kindness and Goodness (Part 2 of 2)

Listen to the Entire Sermon

Rebuilding Relationships

Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy.
— Hebrews 12:14
Is there a relationship you need to rebuild? Too often people are filled with regret and guilt because they failed to reach out to someone with whom they were at odds — and then death intervenes and it’s too late. Don’t let this happen to you.

If a broken relationship comes to mind, know that the place to begin is within yourself. Are you convinced that rebuilding this relationship is something God wants you to do?

Then let the person know that you care, and that you want your relationship to be different. Don’t use words alone; back up your words with action. A small gift or an invitation to dinner can show that you mean what you say.

Most of all, seek God’s forgiveness for anything you did to harm the relationship, and trust Him to help you both set aside the past. Don’t argue about the past or who was at fault; that only reopens old wounds. Instead, focus on your hopes for the future. Change may take time, but with God’s help it can happen.
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Easier Said Than Done
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. — Romans 12:18

God’s will is for us to live at peace with everyone — but sometimes the door to a broken relationship seems closed forever. The marriage has died or the children are rejecting you… Your father abandoned your family or your disapproving mother has cut off all contact… A business partner has turned away in anger or a former friend wants nothing to do with you.

If someone rejects us and absolutely refuses to have anything to do with us, we can’t force them to change. But we can — and should — do everything we can to keep the door open to a possible reconciliation.

We shouldn’t strike back or condemn; instead, we should let them know we still care, and that we hope someday his or her attitude will change. And if we were at fault — even in small ways — we need to admit it and ask for forgiveness.

We also should pray. We can’t change the person we’re estranged from, but God can. Even when the door seems firmly closed, God is able to open it. Do all you can to restore that broken relationship — and trust God for the outcome.

Excerpted with permission from Wisdom for Each Day by Billy Graham, copyright Billy Graham Literary Trust.

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Your Turn

Do you have a friendship or family relationship that has been torn apart? Do you need to forgive someone? Do you need to apologize and make amends? First, take it to the Lord and ask Him if it’s something that He wants you to repair or if He’s protecting you from this person. Then, if He nudges you, do your part. And trust! Come share your thoughts with us on our blog. We want to hear from you about reconciliation! ~Devotionals Daily

 

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by Billy Graham, from Wisdom for Each Day